Three people were killed after a violent scuffle erupted following a dispute between a fishery operator and locals in Irrawaddy division’s Kyonpyaw township.
Around 8pm in the evening on 27 September, local fisherman Win Naing from Shakhe village-tract died after he was attacked by thugs, who allegedly worked for a fishery operator that secured a government contract to operate in the area.
Following Win Naing’s death, several residents gathered at a local administration office to demand justice and came under fire by police that killed two villagers, according to a local eyewitness.
“Ko Tayoke was hacked to death by Pho Lu Wa and his gang, hired by U Myint Han and U Kyi [fishery operators] and that night, the whole village-tract came out to demand action against the killers,” said local witness Tun Tun Moe.
“Then police vehicles arrived at the scene and there was some scuffling. The police opened fire on the crowd, hitting four. Two of them died and two were hospitalised,”
The two villagers who died in the confrontation were identified as Kyi Thein and Kyaw Hsan Ngwe. The two injured – Kyaw Zin Thant and Win Than – were sent to Bassein Hospital after being shot.
The hospital in nearby Henzada township reportedly received Win Naing’s body.
“We received the body of Ko Win Naing, age 45. He died on his way here,” an unnamed official from the hospital told DVB.
“We are unable to get the full report as it’s far away from where we are. Since the Henzada district’s police commander is there, he’s been communicating directly with [senior authorities] and we don’t know much of what happened there,” said Kyaw Wei, a police commander in nearby Ahtaung village.
“Generally from what I heard, there was a big confrontation so the police had to step in.”
The police have yet to take action against the individuals behind Win Naing’s murder.
“The police have not arrested Pho Wa and his gang of thugs yet they’ve deployed heavy security in the area,” said Tun Tun Moe.
Permits for the fishery in Shakhe village-tract were auctioned off by Irrawaddy division’s government and won by businessmen Myint Han and U Kyi for 6.5 million Kyat.
Local fishermen claim their livelihood is at risk following the move.